CBS, Dish reach agreement to halt blackouts ahead of BSU game

US Sen. Ed Markey urges Dish, CBS to settle dispute that could black out of Sunday's Patriots game

The standoff occurred during one of the most popular viewing times of the year, featuring big college football games throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, and an NFL doubleheader on Sunday.

In a statement Tuesday, Dish Network claimed that CBS chose to black out Dish customers' access to its channels in an effort to raise rates and gain negotiating leverage.

Dish said early Friday that the CBS channels were being restored to its customers.

The agreement, reached late Thursday, means Dish subscribers in Boise and other cities once again have access to CBS content.

Dish Network announced Thursday it has reached a multi-year agreement with CBS to resume carrying the network's owned and operated local stations, including KCBS-TV Channel 2, along with three cable networks, ending a three-day blackout. Dish's statement also pointed out that viewership data "reveals that on CBS Sports Network, Pop and Smithsonian Channel, average viewership is down more than 10 percent in the past three years".


"We are pleased we have reached a deal with DISH, who recognizes the value that the number one Network brings to viewers in these markets", said Ray Hopkins, President, Television Networks Distribution, CBS Corporation.

The blackout affected almost 4 million Dish Network subscriber homes - including 400,000 in the Los Angeles region.

The two-day blackout began when the media network and satellite TV company failed to agree on a fee Dish Network would pay to carry CBS broadcasts.

That scenario recently played out between CBS and DISH. Details about the deal, including financial terms weren't disclosed.

Almost 4 million customers nationwide, in 18 different markets, are affected. The blackout had prevented almost 3 million Dish subscribers from watching the NFL's Los Angeles Chargers play the Dallas Cowboys on the Thanksgiving holiday. "Our customers are clear: they don't want to pay a CBS tax".

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